Lyric Hearing Aid Review
Note: We do not sell Lyric. Please do not contact us with questions regarding Lyric. To locate a Lyric provider near you, call 1-877-622-9733 or Text “INVISIBLE” to 444888.
Since the first week this site was live I’ve been getting emails asking about my opinion on the Lyric hearing aid. I’ve been meaning to write about it for a long time, but I just didn’t feel like I had enough experience with it to do so. Even now, I guess I’m still not on expert on the Lyric hearing aid, but I have fit probably around 50 people with it. Some of those fittings have been very successful, others, not so much. Without further adieu, let’s get in to what the Lyric hearing aid is, what it isn’t, how to figure out if you’re a candidate for Lyric or not, and most important of all, whether or not people actually like it.
So, what is Lyric?
Taken straight from Lyric’s website, “Lyric® Hearing Aids are a hassle-free, 100% invisible hearing solution – Lyric is the world’s first and only extended wear hearing aid that is worn 24/7 for months at a time* through activities such as showering, exercising and sleeping – all with no daily hassles.” So let’s first talk about that little asterisk (*). The actual Lyric device is a very soft foam-like device which has a proprietary battery inside that powers the device for months on end. When the battery dies, the device needs to be taken out, and exchanged with a brand new device.
So technically, the aid can be worn for months at a time, but most of the time there will be a couple of days within that 2-4 month span in which the devices will be dead and you will be waiting for an appointment with your provider to put a new device in. That is no big deal for most people. With traditional hearing aids you are going to be in your provider’s office a few times a year anyway, so this is just par for the course. There is another point that the (*) may be referring to, which is, sometimes the Lyric will not last anywhere close to 2-4 months. In fact, if you read the comments below, you’ll see that sometimes the Lyric will last only a few days. This is of course the exception to the rule, but some Lyric devices do turn out to essentially be “duds”, and die just days after being inserted in your ears. This is not commonplace, but chances are it will happen to you a few times. In general, the Lyric is going to last for several months as advertised.
How does the device actually work, and how am I fit with it?
After a typical hearing test by your provider, if you are a candidate for Lyric (meaning your hearing loss is within the fitting range), you can be fit with Lyric on the spot, the day of your appointment. Now, a bit more about candidacy for Lyric. Lyric is a great option for a person with a mild, high pitch hearing loss. It is not ideal for more severe hearing losses as the small device is not capable of high power output. The size and shape of your ear(s) will also help determine if you are a candidate anatomically. Precise measurements of your ear are taken to determine the diameter and depth of your ear canal, to ensure your ears are physically able to accept the devices. It’s also important that the ear is healthy and free of any inflammation, tenderness, or abrasions. Your lifestyle can also play a role in your candidacy for Lyric. The Lyric device is able to be worn while sleeping and showering. Some contraindications to the use of Lyric include: underwater swimming, scuba diving, and skydiving. So having said all of that, Lyric isn’t for everyone. But if you have a mild high frequency hearing loss, healthy ears and large enough canals, chances are you will be a great candidate.
Can the Lyric hearing aid be adjusted or programmed for my hearing loss like traditional digital hearing aids?
Yes and no. Lyric is not a digital hearing aid, but don’t let that scare you away. That doesn’t mean it’s any less state-of-the-art. Lyric can in fact be programmed by your provider so it is tailored for your loss. Your provider has control of vital aspects of the sound like high frequency and low frequency gain, and a few other adjustments. However, Lyric doesn’t have the programming flexibility that digital hearing instruments have, but for some people that just doesn’t matter. The fact is, Lyric doesn’t really need to be digital, and for a few reasons. Let’s look at a few of the things digital hearing aids are best at, and then see how Lyric tackles these same issues. First, digital hearing aids are excellent at suppressing feedback (you know, that annoying whistling sound hearing aids can make). However, because of Lyric’s deep placement and precision fit, feedback is not an issue, therefore advanced feedback cancellation features are not necessary. Secondly, digital hearing aids excel at reducing background noise through complicated algorithms, but again, because Lyric is placed so deep within the ear canal, the ear filters sound the way it would in a person without a hearing loss, which means it gives patients a more natural sense of where noises are coming from. Lastly, the features in typical digital hearing aids really drain batteries fast, usually in about 1-3 weeks. Since Lyric isn’t digital and doesn’t have this kind of battery drain, the battery can last up to 4 months for some people- but there are a lot of factors in play here.
So all of this is nice, but the million dollar question is, do people like Lyric?
Like most hearing instruments, the answer to that is “yes and no.” I’ve seen countless people who were perfect candidates for Lyric, and it just didn’t work out for them. I personally have had Lyrics inserted in my ears for a few hours and I think they are incredibly comfortable, but some folks just can’t stand the thought of having something in their ears that isn’t removed each day. For some people they are uncomfortable, make their ears sore, or just won’t stay situated correctly. However, these are problems of all hearing instruments, and are not unique to Lyric.
Another thing to consider is the cost of Lyric devices. To some people, the Lyric just isn’t (financially) a viable long-term solution. At $3,000-$4,000 per year to wear a pair of Lyrics, it is one of the most expensive options on the market. However, when considering this figure, you have to account for the fact that you are going to go through several Lyric devices each year, and they will be replaced with brand new devices each time. In the average year, you’re probably going to go through 12 devices in total between both ears, so each time you get a new device you are essentially paying around $291 per ear. When you take in to account the provider’s time, overhead, the manufacturer’s expenses, and the fact that we know hearing aids are expensive, this is not really that far off-base from the price of traditional hearing aids. In addition, you have to consider that when you wear the Lyrics, you are always wearing the latest, state-of-the-art, invisible hearing aids. One of the great things about Lyric is that any time a new model is released you then make the jump to that model at your next fitting appointment (with no additional expenses). With traditional aids, you buy them and then are basically “stuck” with that technology for the next 5-7 years until you upgrade. Not so with Lyric.
So, having said all that, the great news is that I have never had a client reject Lyric because of its sound quality. It is superb in that arena. Almost everyone I’ve fit has said they love the way it sounds, and they love not having to change batteries, take it out for showers or sleeping, etc. I often tell people it is the closest thing to having your natural hearing back- because it is. For some people it really is the best solution out there by far, and people swear by it. The Lyric can be a completely life changing device. If you’ve worn traditional hearing aids in the past, you will love not having to worry about maintenance, cleaning, and storage of these aids. When you wear aids 24/7, it’s just one less thing you have to think about, and in today’s world anything that can do that is worth its weight in gold in my opinion!
The bottom line
The Lyric hearing aid is absolutely, without a doubt, worth a shot. You can try Lyric 100% risk-free (most of the time) with a trained Lyric professional, so you’ve got nothing to lose if it doesn’t work out for you. In the event that the Lyric isn’t the best option for you, there are tons of other 100% invisible hearing aids that you might want to consider.